Set of Nesting Boxes

Artist: Unknown
Culture/People: Huron
Place: Quebec
Media: Birchbark, bird quill, and dye
Dims: Largest 2.5 x 5.7 in.; smallest 1.25 x 3.25 in. (6.3 x 14.5 cm | 3.2 x 8.3 cm)
Date: c. 1870
RTC No: NA0296a-e
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


The rather loose composition of floral designs on these nested boxes indicates a fairly late date in the nineteenth century. They were typically made by the Huron for sale to visitors at Quebec City and French Canada. Thus, it is appropriate that this set came to light in England in 1977 and surfaced at the Portobello Road market or one of the other London markets such as Camden Passage. It is rare to find a nested set of as many boxes (five in all) as this example, because they tend to get lost or scattered far and wide.

—Ted Coe, n.d.

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